News Release Archive - 2018

Syria: Will the U.S. Government Actually Get Out?

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ANDREW BACEVICH, bacevich at bu.edu
Bacevich is professor emeritus of international relations and history at Boston University. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he received his PhD in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University. Before joining the faculty of Boston University, he taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins. His latest book is America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History. He was recently interviewed by Scott Horton; in April, he was on the program “A Nation Addicted to War” on “Intercepted” with Jeremy Scahill. In April, he wrote the piece “Trump doesn’t have authority to order strikes against Syria” for the Boston Globe.

Airwars stated Wednesday: “Between the first U.S. airstrike on ISIS in Syria in September 2014 and today’s troop pullout announcement, our monitors tracked 2,061 events locally alleging more than 13,500 civilian deaths from Coalition actions. Our own minimum estimate is 4,880 killed.” There seem to be no signs that the U.S. government bombings will cease.

DANIEL McADAMS, dlmcadams at gmail.com, @DanielLMcAdams
Executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, see McAdams’ discussion with former Rep. Paul: “Trump Shocker: ‘We’re Leaving Syria!’ Does He Mean It?” He criticizes Lindsey Graham and other interventionists. He was on the IPA news releases “Spicer: ‘Goal is to Destabilize Syria’” and “Left and Right Unite Against Escalating Syria War” last year.

REESE ERLICH, ReeseErlich at yahoo.com, @reeseerlich
Erlich writes the syndicated column “Foreign Correspondent.” He  has reported from Syria six times and is author of the book Inside Syria. His latest book is The Iran Agenda Today: the Real Story Inside Iran and What’s Wrong with U.S. Policy. Last year, he was on the IPA news release “Trump Calls for Major Escalation in Syria.”

He said today: “In 2014 I reported from the Iraq-Syria border for CBS News as the U.S. began its bombing campaign in the region. Obama promised ‘no American boots on the ground’ in Syria. I pointed out the U.S. would have to send troops, and they would have to withdraw when the American people tired of yet another Mideast war. Now there are over 2,000 U.S. troops fighting in Syria. Today Trump announced plans for their withdrawal in 60-90 days. Details remain sketchy. Some major points:

1. The U.S. never should have invaded Syria because it sought to intervene in that country’s civil war as well as defeat the Islamic State.

2. The I.S. is not defeated as claimed by Trump and it is likely to pose a serious security threat to both Iraq and Syria.

3. The U.S. has once again stabbed Kurds in the back by leaving them open to attack from both I.S. and Turkey.

4. Neocons in the administration such as John Bolton want to keep troops in Syria, supposedly to force the withdrawal of Iran, but in reality as part of an effort to fragment the country. It remains to be seen if they will undercut or reverse Trump’s decision.

5. Any chance for stability now hinges on political talks between Turkey, Russia and the Syrian government. A unified Syria could emerge if Turkish troops also withdraw and Kurds are granted autonomy in the region where they live.”

Also see IPA news releases: “Israel’s Attempts to Destabilize Syria” and “Roots of Terror: Is Trump Enabling ISIS?

While many are surprised that U.S. troops were in Syria, see FAIR piece from 2015: “White House Reveals ‘Boots on Ground’ in Syria, but Media Too Giddy Over Special Ops Porn to Notice.”

“Congress Must Investigate Kavanaugh’s Lies Because the Courts Will Not”

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LISA GRAVES, lisa at documentedinvestigations.org
Co-director of Documented Investigations and former chief counsel for nominations for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Graves said today: “On Tuesday, a panel of federal judges dismissed 83 ethics complaints filed against Brett Kavanaugh, stating that the Code of Conduct for United States Judges “must be dismissed because, due to his elevation to the Supreme Court, Justice Kavanaugh is no longer a judge covered by” the relevant act. [PDF]

Said Graves: “John Roberts referred the ethics complaints — that had been filed against Kavanaugh for his conduct while serving as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit — to the Tenth Circuit court to examine. That court refused to apply the Code to Kavanaugh, even though the core of the ethics complaints against him was based on his deceptive testimony under oath before the U.S. Senate. The Code applies to the conduct of all U.S. federal judges, except for those on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“A core tenet of American democracy is that no person, no matter how powerful, is above the law — not a president or a judge on the Supreme Court. Because the courts will not police themselves by investigating the 83 ethics complaints filed against Brett Kavanaugh based on his testimony to the Senate, Congress must do so. As I wrote in September, I believe there is strong evidence that Kavanaugh committed perjury in his testimony to obtain his initial appointment to the D.C. Circuit and he lied repeatedly in his testimony in September to obtain confirmation to the Supreme Court. I call on the U.S. House of Representatives to examine these matters because neither judges nor the president’s lawyers or children should be allowed to lie to Congress with impunity.”

Graves added: “Congress also needs to secure documents about Kavanaugh that were improperly withheld from the Senate and conduct a full investigation into the evidence provided that Kavanaugh assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and others, since the White House thwarted a full investigation of all relevant witnesses, including Kavanaugh himself. Under our Constitution, judges are only allowed to serve with ‘good behavior’ and Kavanaugh’s deceitful statements under oath violate that requirement. Of course, the Code of Conduct should apply to the judges on our nation’s highest court, but the House need not wait for the extreme partisans in the Senate or the White House to require that in order to investigate the manifest misconduct of Kavanaugh, who is unworthy of a position of trust on our Supreme Court.”

Graves was the chief counsel for nominations for the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee when Kavanaugh first went before the Committee. She wrote several pieces documenting Kavanaugh’s lying under oath and appeared on such IPA news releases as “’Kavanaugh Lied Under Oath About Memos I Wrote’” and “Kavanaugh’s Pattern of Lying Under Oath” see here.

Note: IPA senior analyst Sam Husseini has challenged the widespread use of the term “Justice” as an honorific to judges on the Supreme Court as corrosive to the actual concept of justice — see the piece “Stop Calling Him ‘Justice Roberts.’

Senate Passes Left-Right Criminal Justice Reform

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Deborah Barfield Berry of USA Today writes in “Senate passes sweeping criminal justice overhaul supported by groups on the left and right” that “the Senate voted 87 to 12 late Tuesday to approve the bipartisan ‘First Step Act.’ … The bill must now go over to the House for a vote. President Donald Trump has supported the measure.

“The measure aimed at reducing the number of people in the nation’s prisons would among other things, give judges more discretion in sentencing offenders for nonviolent crimes, particularly drug offenses, and bolster rehabilitation programs for former prisoners.

“The Senate defeated amendments proposed by Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and John Kennedy of Louisiana that would have required the Bureau of Prisons to notify victims before a prisoner is released and tracked former offenders after they’re released.”

MARC MAUER, mauer at sentencingproject.org, @SentencingProj
Mauer is executive director of the Sentencing Project and author of the just-released The Meaning of Life: The Case for Abolishing Life Sentences. He said today: “We’re most enthusiastic about the sentencing reforms included in the legislation, although the compromise bill removed the retroactive provision for several of them. …

“The expanded programming in the federal prison system is of course a good idea, but the bill’s provisions are too limited and not necessarily evidence-based. The bill calls for $75 million per year in programming, which is not a lot given that the system holds 180,000 prisoners. Also, programming participation and incentives are prioritized for ‘low-risk’ prisoners, whereas research shows that it’s more effective to target ‘high-risk’ individuals. That’s because the low-risk people are in fact low-risk, so less chance of them reoffending, whereas there’s greater opportunity to have an impact on the scale of reoffending with the ones more likely to do so in the absence of rehabilitative programming. …

“The exclusion of violent crimes is unwise for a number of reasons, but in practice relatively few (less than 10 percent) of federal offenders are locked up for those, with the vast majority prosecuted as a state crime.”

See the recent piece “Criminal justice reform doesn’t end system’s racial bias” by Leah Sakala of the Urban Institute and Nicole D. Porter of the The Sentencing Project.

Examining Yellow Vest Demands

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DIANA JOHNSTONE, diana.johnstone at wanadoo.fr
Based in Paris, Johnstone recently wrote the piece “Yellow Vests Rise Against Neo-Liberal ‘King’ Macron,” which states: “The Yellow Vests held their first demonstrations on Saturday, November 17, on the Champs-Elysées in Paris. It was totally unlike the usual trade union demonstrations, well organized to march down the boulevard between the Place de la République and the Place de la Bastille, or the other way around, carrying banners and listening to speeches from leaders at the end. …

“Briefly, the message was this: we can’t make ends meet. The cost of living keeps going up, and our incomes keep going down. We just can’t take it any more. The government must stop, think and change course. …

“A significant and recurring complaint concerned the matter of health care. France has long had the best public health program in the world, but this is being steadily undermined to meet the primary need of capital: profit. In the past few years, there has been a growing government campaign to encourage, and finally to oblige people to subscribe to a ‘mutuelle,’ that is, a private health insurance, ostensibly to fill ‘the gaps’ not covered by France’s universal health coverage. The ‘gaps’ can be the 15 percent that is not covered for ordinary illnesses (grave illnesses are covered 100 percent), or for medicines taken off the ‘covered’ list, or for dental work, among other things. The ‘gaps’ to fill keep expanding, along with the cost of subscribing to the mutuelle. In reality, this program, sold to the public as modernizing improvement, is a gradual move toward privatization of health care. It is a sneaky method of opening the whole field of public health to international financial capital investment. This gambit has not fooled ordinary people and is high on the list of complaints by the Gilets Jaunes [Yellow Vests].”

Johnstone is the author of Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions and Queen of Chaos: the Misadventures of Hillary Clinton. The memoirs of Diana Johnstone’s father Paul H. Johnstone (a senior military planner and one of the authors of the Pentagon Papers), From MAD to Madness, were published by last year with her commentary.

Sanders Delegates Vote to Relaunch Organization

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Former Bernie Sanders delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention have voted to reactivate the independent Bernie Delegates Network.

In nationwide balloting that concluded on Tuesday, the final tally was 408 “yes” and 23 “no” in response to this question: “Do you favor a relaunch of the independent Bernie Delegates Network in 2019?”

Organizers called the vote “a landslide” and said they will proceed with relaunching the nationwide network in early January.

The two organizations that sponsored the Bernie Delegates Network in 2016 — Progressive Democrats of America and RootsAction.org — conducted the new survey and will sponsor the relaunched network.

Before and during the national convention in July 2016, the Bernie Delegates Network — while maintaining independence from the Sanders campaign organization — enabled Sanders delegates to communicate and plan with each other.

The network developed a rapid-response capacity to survey Sanders delegates about their issue priorities and tactical preferences, and then quickly share the results. For instance, going into the convention, several hundred delegates voted in Bernie Delegates Network surveys to give top priority to visibly expressing opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and support for single-payer Medicare for All.

The following organizers for the Bernie Delegates Network are available for interviews:

DONNA SMITH, donna at pdamerica.org
Smith is former executive director and current national advisory board chair of Progressive Democrats of America, whose members included more than 200 Sanders delegates at the national convention. She said today: “It makes perfect sense that 2016 Bernie delegates — who gave hundreds of hours of service in order to pursue policies like improved Medicare for All and an aggressive climate emergency mobilization — would now be organized to help develop plans for the future and remain connected to each other across the country.”

She added: “I hope the 2019 Bernie Delegates Network will once again push the edges of the possible for Democrats who still believe we can reframe our message, retain our core mission in support of justice, and regain our power to lead. After all, Bernie’s 2016 Democratic presidential primary and the delegates he inspired have already helped to elect the new class of congressional leaders who are already shaking the balance of power.”

KAREN BERNAL, nekochan99 at hotmail.com
Bernal is the chair of the California Democratic Party’s Progressive Caucus and was co-chair of California’s Sanders delegation to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. She said today: “We could not have predicted the level of overwhelming support we received for continuing the Bernie Delegates Network — we’re thrilled! The results showed people’s appreciation for a mechanism that values their input and determination. As we soon go into another presidential election cycle, the observations and opinions of former delegates will no doubt be seen as a reflection of the wider views of many across the nation.”

Bernal added: “More importantly, it’s my hope that the independence of the Bernie Delegates Network will assist in shaping conversations around issues important to us as we go into what will be a highly charged and partisan election season.”

PIA GALLEGOS, pia at gallegoslaw.com
Gallegos is former chair of the Adelante Progressive Caucus of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. She said today: “The overwhelming vote to re-establish the Bernie Delegates Network reflects the enduring impacts of what Bernie Sanders has inspired. The independence of BDN will allow us freedom of action and freedom of speech to influence and shape the issues during the presidential campaign.”

Gallegos, Smith and Bernal were among the co-authors of two widely discussed reports — “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis” and the October 2018 follow-up, “Democratic Autopsy: One Year Later.”

Paul Ryan Fueling Saudi War in Yemen, Undermining Congress

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Conan O’Brien tweeted Tuesday night: “Wow. The rule for the Farm Bill approved tonight by House Rules strips privilege from any War Powers resolution that limits U.S. involvement in Yemen for the rest of the year. The rule still must pass the House.”

Congressman Ro Khanna ‏tweeted Wednesday morning: “This is why people hate Congress. @SpeakerRyan is not allowing a vote on my resolution to stop the war in Yemen because many Republicans will vote with us and he will lose the vote. He is disgracing Article 1 of the Constitution, and as a result, more Yemeni children will die.”

See this just-published piece in Bloomberg. “U.S. Crackdown on Saudis Over Yemen War Imperiled by House Move.”

REESE ERLICH, ReeseErlich at yahoo.com, @reeseerlich
Erlich writes the syndicated column “Foreign Correspondent.” His recent columns include “Senate tumult reflects popular discontent with Yemen War.”

Erlich was in Turkey when Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered there. He wrote the pieces “What the Khashoggi case tells us about terrorism” and “Murder of Saudi journalist builds opposition to Yemen war.”

He writes: “International relief organizations now consider the Yemen War the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The country faces a devastating cholera epidemic. An estimated 14 million Yemenis are on the brink of starvation and 85,000 children have already died of hunger. The Royal Saudi Air Force intentionally targets civilians according to a UN report and human rights groups. …

“[The Saudi government claims that] the Houthis are controlled by Iran and part of an Iranian plan to dominate the region. In fact, the Houthis are an indigenous political Islamist movement allied with, but not controlled by Iran. The Saudi military promised a quick victory, but the war has dragged on for over three and a half years.”

Erlich’s books include The Iran Agenda: the Real Story of U.S. and Policy and the Mideast Crisis. Listen to his recent interview on WAER, the Syracuse University public radio station: “Horrors of Yemen War and How U.S. Policy Shift Could Help.”

Background: Paul Ryan used a similar maneuver last month. See Institute for Public Accuracy news release: “Paul Ryan Tries to Keep Saudi Attack on Yemen Going.” Vox reported at the time: “The War Powers Act of 1973 allows for declaring a special privilege, essentially letting the matter come to a vote, and congressional parliamentarians said Khanna’s resolution met those requirements, a Democratic source said.”

France: Protests Force Macron Retreat; Austerity

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The Real News reports that “France’s president Emmanuel Macron made a major concession to nationwide protests this week when he decided to postpone fuel tax hikes and promised to freeze electricity prices.” The Real News also reports Macron is “promising an increase in the minimum wage and tax reductions for pensioners and for overtime work.”

JEAN BRICMONT, jean.bricmont at uclouvain.be
Noted author and academic Bricmont has been in France as the protests have gripped that country. He just arrived in Belgium, seat of several European Union institutions, where similar protests began this weekend. He has been posting his analysis as well as videos on Facebook.

Bricmont’s books include Humanitarian Imperialism: Using Human Rights to Sell War and he is co-editor of Chomsky Notebook. He is a physicist and professor emeritus at the University of Louvain in Belgium.In his interview with The Real News Bricmont said of the “Yellow Vest” movement: “I pretty much believe it’s spontaneous. … It’s certainly an unstructured movement. …

“I did not expect the level of misery that I hear in the testimonies of people saying they can’t make ends meet, they don’t have anything to eat after the 20th or the 25th of the month. People describing the situation in the hospital, which used to be one of the best medical systems in the world, being absolutely dramatic. Waiting lines. You know, I mean, all these things, I mean, just unbelievable how much France seems to be being destroyed. …

“And I think the problem is not Macron. Macron, of course, was speaking publicly like the elites are speaking privately, by showing utter contempt for the people. And you know, that, of course, made him unpopular. But I think the problem is much, much deeper. …

Bricmont highlighted a series of deeper problems, including: “the left should have been leading this movement for years, you see, and it hasn’t been doing so.”

Bricmont also highlighted what he sees as structural problems with how European integration has been achieved, saying the current treaties create “imbalances between economies within the eurozone, because there is no transfer of wealth between the rich countries and the poor ones. And it’s impossible to have the same currency between countries which used to have huge fluctuation between their currencies. …

“So if you have these fluctuations, then suddenly you say all these countries have the same value. But how would you do that? It’s a free market economy. We didn’t go to a planned economy, as far as I know. And then how do you prevent these fluctuations? You prevent these fluctuations by austerity measures. That’s what they’ve been doing.” Also see The Real News overview piece with Greg Wilpert: “France’s Macron Makes Concessions while ‘Yellow Vest’ Protests Continue.”

Barr as AG? Bush and Trump Dovetail

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While much media coverage the last several days sought to contrast recently deceased former president George H.W. Bush and current president Donald Trump, Arun Gupta was on the podcast “Intercepted,” making parallels between the two presidents.

Gupta argued that the Trump presidency was largely an outgrowth of past presidencies, especially that of George H.W. Bush.

On Thursday, USA Today reported that William Barr “is a leading candidate to become President Donald Trump’s replacement for ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions, two administration officials and a person familiar with the discussion told USA Today on Thursday.” Barr worked at a time for the CIA, including while Bush was CIA director.

Barr was also attorney general during the Bush administration. Specifically, he was attorney general in 1992 when Bush pardoned six individuals implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal, including Caspar Weinberger, Elliott Abrams and Robert C. McFarlane.

ARUN GUPTA, arun.indypendent at gmail.com, @arunindy
On Wednesday, Gupta was on the “Intercepted” podcast “George H.W. Bush (1924-2018), American War Criminal,” hosted by Jeremy Scahill. He is writing a piece for The Intercept on George Bush, the secret government, and the Iran-Contra scandal.

Background: The Iran-Contra affair involved the Reagan-Bush administration trading missile sales to Iran for U.S. hostages, and using the proceeds of those arms sales to fund anti-Sandinista Contras in Central America — in violation of U.S. law.

Consortium News founder Robert Parry (whose books include Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq) would later write in “Firewall: Inside the Iran-Contra Cover-up“: “The Republican independent counsel [Lawrence Walsh] infuriated the GOP when he submitted a second indictment of Weinberger on the Friday before the 1992 elections. The indictment contained documents revealing that President Bush had been lying for years with his claim that he was ‘out of the loop’ on the Iran-Contra decisions. The ensuing furor dominated the last several days of the campaign and sealed Bush’s defeat at the hands of Bill Clinton.

“Walsh had discovered, too, that Bush had withheld his own notes about the Iran-Contra Affair, a discovery that elevated the President to a possible criminal subject of the investigation. But Bush had one more weapon in his arsenal. On Christmas Eve 1992, Bush destroyed the Iran-Contra probe once and for all by pardoning Weinberger and five other convicted or indicted defendants.

“’George Bush’s misuse of the pardon power made the cover-up complete,’ Walsh wrote.”

CNN Fires Hill for Arguing for Equal Rights in Israel-Palestine

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AP reports in “CNN Fires Analyst Marc Lamont Hill After UN Speech on Israel” that “Hill, a professor of media studies at Temple University who had been a recurring political commentator on CNN, called for countries to boycott and divest from Israel in the Wednesday speech given for the UN’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

“‘We have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action, grass-roots action, local action and international action that will give us what justice requires and that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea,’ Hill said in the speech.

“The ADL and others said the ‘river to the sea’ phrase is code for the destruction of Israel often used by Hamas and groups bent on its destruction.”

Hill said on Twitter: “My reference to ‘river to the sea’ was not a call to destroy anything or anyone. It was a call for justice, both in Israel and in the West Bank/Gaza. The speech very clearly and specifically said those things. No amount of debate will change what I actually said or what I meant.”

“I support Palestinian freedom. I support Palestinian self-determination,” Hill tweeted, adding, “I do not support anti-Semitism, killing Jewish people, or any of the other things attributed to my speech. I have spent my life fighting these things.” See video and transcript of Hill’s speech.

ALI ABUNIMAH, aliabunimah at me.com, @AliAbunimah
Founder of the Electronic Intifada, Abunimah just wrote the piece “Marc Lamont Hill Politically Lynched for Telling Truth about Palestine.”

Hill also wrote: “I called for a single democratic state where everyone votes. Jews, Muslims, Christians and everyone else deserve to live in peace and safety. And with self-determination. No one’s freedom should come at the expense of others.”

Abunimah — whose books include One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse, wrote of Hill’s explanation: “This is precisely the message Israel and its lobby are most terrified of — because it resonates with ordinary people. This is why they smear and defame people who call for justice and equality.”

Wrote Abunimah: “The accusations against Marc Lamont Hill are outright lies promoted by high-level operatives of the Israel lobby in their latest effort to silence and punish anyone who dares speak out in support of Palestinian equality and freedom from Israel’s brutal regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.

“They perfectly match the kind of smear and sabotage tactics revealed in the censored Al Jazeera documentary on the U.S. Israel lobby that was recently published in full by The Electronic Intifada.”

Also see: Yousef Munayyer at Huffington Post: “CNN Fired Marc Lamont Hill for Saying Palestinians Deserve Equal Rights.”

Glenn Greenwald just wrote the piece “CNN Submits to Right-Wing Outrage Mob, Fires Marc Lamont Hill Due to His ‘Offensive’ Defense of Palestinians at the U.N.

Will Congress Save Nuclear Treaties with Russia?

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JOHN BURROUGHS, johnburroughs at lcnp.org

Burroughs is executive director of Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy and co-author of “U.S.-Russia Nuclear Arms Racing: Still Crazy After All These Years.” His group is participating in a RootsAction-led online campaign to oppose U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

He said today: “In October, President Trump announced the intent to withdraw from the INF treaty, a key nuclear disarmament pact with Russia signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 and approved by the U.S. Senate. It required Russia and the United States to eliminate permanently their nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 310 to 3,420 miles. Through the campaign, constituents can contact their representative and senators to urge that they support legislation or a resolution clearly stating congressional opposition to U.S. withdrawal and that they oppose funding of weapons prohibited by the treaty.

“The INF Treaty was the first agreement to eliminate an entire category of nuclear weapons delivery systems, and served as the foundation for subsequent U.S.-Russian agreements to reduce long-range nuclear forces. Its termination now will destabilize the U.S.-Russian nuclear relationship and make further bilateral or multilateral nuclear arms control much more difficult. The issues the U.S. and Russia each have regarding claimed violations of the treaty by the other side can be resolved through negotiations. And given Democratic control of the House next year and the positions taken by the likely incoming chair of the House Armed Services Committee, Adam Smith, it is doubtful that Congress will fund treaty-prohibited activities — the testing, production, and deployment of the missiles — whether or not the treaty remains in effect. If that is so, what is the strategic rationale for withdrawing from the treaty?”

Burroughs adds that the online campaign — which is also backed by other groups including Daily Kos and The Nation — has an “emphasis on the need for Congress to step up to the plate that is much needed. Already, there have been signs of movement. Smith and Eliot Engel, the likely incoming chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, signed a letter in response to Trump’s announcement complaining bitterly that their committees had not been consulted about the plan to withdraw. Under the Constitution, treaties are part of the supreme law of the land and their ratification is approved by the Senate. The Constitution is silent on allocation of the power of treaty termination, but from the beginning numerous treaties were ended by joint action of Congress and the president. While evidence of the framers’ intent is fragmentary and mixed, it is noteworthy that Jefferson and Madison maintained that Congress or the Senate have responsibility for treaty termination. It was only with the advent of the imperial presidency after World War II that it has become commonplace flatly to assume that treaty termination is a sole presidential power — though that assumption has not gone unchallenged, as former senator Russell Feingold explains in ‘Donald Trump Can Unilaterally Withdraw from Treaties Because Congress Abdicated responsibility.’

“This dynamic played out in the fateful decision of the George W, Bush administration to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Now is the time for Congress to reclaim its power, through spending decisions which the House can control and if possible through legislation or a resolution adopted by both the House and Senate.”

Background: Congressman Ro Khanna has tweeted: “I am alarmed that President Trump is withdrawing from the INF treaty with Russia. This action plunges us back into a nuclear arms race and endangers our troops, allies, & the world, while wasting taxpayer dollars to prepare for a nuclear war that must never be fought.”

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which now shows the Doomsday Clock at two minutes to midnight, points out: “The INF withdrawal is part of a pattern. It is not the first nuclear treaty the U.S. has terminated; at the end of 2001 the United States walked out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty it had signed with the Soviet Union in 1972.”